Vandelles - Unfortunately, I missed the opening band's set. A rare miss for me, but it happens.
The Psychic Paramount - This could be drone, but for the riffage which is fast and, of course, loud. There is a lot going on here, but I am not seeing it amount to much of anything. They are close to being something good, but this instrumental fury does not have the intricacy and drama of Mogwai, nor the song styling of power-psyche explorers like Spacious Mind among many others. Earlier today, I enjoyed 8 minutes of smooth feedback which closed out an album from a microtonal post modern blues band. That noise was far less interesting than anything in this set, but it offset some other interesting music and was more successful. I hope these guys play around with their formula a bit more, especially since one of the later songs in the set did seem to show more diversity. But I will say the only thing I disliked were the rather pointless burst of smoke at random points in the set. After all, there's nothing too terribly wrong with a noisy warm-up for tonight's headliner.
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Yes, it is loud as the apocalypse. Even in the back corner, I saw a few people with fingers in their ears and yet a surprising amount of people without earplugs. Some times I complain about excessive volume, but when it is a staple of what a band is about, then I actually rather enjoy it... like tonight. This is a pivotal band for the shoegaze genre, as most everyone knows. Although I used to listen to "Psychocandy" a bit in the old days, I really did not pay attention to them much. So I can not speak like an expert, but instead as a mild fan who respects their history and really enjoyed what these guys put out tonight. They played a 63 minute set and then a few encores to a sold-out crowd who definitely were absorbed by the loud but compelling songs. These are short catchy songs, surprisingly simple and can work as pop nuggets aside from the volume. Listening to them today, is similar to listening to the Ramones 20 years later and wondering what all the fuss was about it (aside from the fact that it is really cool music). But these guys found a way to present catchy songs in an original, cool way and they had it together tonight. And like the Ramones, they got there first. Another appealing aspect tonight, was their relaxed and positive attitude with the crowd, which does contrast with their earlier days. I really enjoyed every bit of this, but completely dropped my jaw with their set closer, "Reverence" which showed how a brilliant song played at heavy volume offers no escape as it seeps into every pore of your body. Perhaps this is more sanitary and predictable for some of their hardened fans(?), but it reminded me of how a good a band this was and still is.
Quote of the Night: Jim Reid, as they brought a (barely audible) female singer out for one song... "This is obviously a cover of 'Ace of Spades' by Motorhead."